Finding the Time for Fitness and Starting a New Exercise Program (part 2)
I’ve been known to say that the most important component of starting any exercise program is first deciding that you are a mover for life.
It’s very similar to a successful approach to quitting smoking – begin by deciding that you are a non-smoker.
This single shift in mindset is a powerful tool to catapult your exercise and fitness results to higher, more rewarding levels. You’ve already decided to exercise. Now it’s just a matter of deciding what to do and where to fit it in. That’s the easy part!
I’ll share how I manage to fit regular exercise into my life.
My schedule has become even more harried in the past year. I’m now home schooling our children in addition to working in our Wellness practice, speaking and working from home maintaining various health websites, and writing books.
The reason I’m sharing this is that I know we’re ALL busy. We’ve all got to-do lists a mile long. Don’t let that stop you. Busy schedules simply force you to be more efficient!
In my particular situation, my crazed life simply means that my exercise has become a bit more creative – both in finding ways to fit it in, as well as the actual type of exercise itself. Thank goodness I’ve decided that I’m a mover for life! Otherwise, it would seem easy to skip exercise some days in exchange for getting more things checked off my list! (Not really… I feel too much “pleasure” as a result of exercise to let that happen!)
I have claimed the first 2 – 3 hours of each day as “my time”. This allows me to get much of my writing and work-from-home stuff out of the way early before the kids get up and need their mommy. My day with our kids begins around 7:30 or 8 a.m. The first half of our day is a combination of family time, home schooling and domestic ‘stuff’.
Midday, when my husband comes home for lunch, I jump on the opportunity to have another grown-up available for the kids! A couple times during the week, I’ll take off for a run when he gets home. I fit another couple of cardio sessions in on the weekend.
When my youngest child takes his nap in the early afternoon or the kids are having quiet reading time, that’s oftentimes when I do my resistance training.
That’s one way I fit exercise in… I’ve become opportunistic! I look for any available opening in the schedule, and I’m on it! As I mentioned, I’ve already decided that I’m a mover – the rest is just about creating the opportunities and being available for them.
If, for some reason, the aforementioned opportunities don’t work out, I find some way to get some movement in that day. For example, I may go out to the garage after the kids are in bed for the night and do some jump rope and other low-tech exercise, or I may put the kids in the stroller and “run them” to the playground or pull them in the trailer behind my bike. I can even squeeze in a 15 minute workout when dinner is cooking, if need be.
The kids know that mommy needs her exercise! They know that I’m going to fit it in some way. We have a room in our house that triples as a make-shift workout room, an office and a spare bedroom, so I can do my workouts at home. The kids often join me in the room as I’m working out, or they’ll do their own “workouts” when I’m doing mine! It’s all very normal for them.
So, my workouts don’t always follow an exact schedule. Sometimes, they’re at lunch when my husband comes home. Sometimes they’re in the mid morning or afternoon with the kids. Sometimes the workout is part of a kid activity. Sometimes it’s at night. It doesn’t matter… I just know that 6 times each week, I’m going to carve out time for some “formal” exercise.
If you have the ‘luxury’ of a more rigid schedule, or you have childcare/school available to you, then the ideal scenario is to fit your exercise in during the morning. That way, you’ve got a big accomplishment under your belt for the day, and your metabolism is highly efficient for the rest of the day.
Fitting in fitness doesn’t need to be a traumatic overhaul of your schedule. Usually, it’s just tweaking 15 minutes here and there. Get up 15 minutes earlier and crank out a quick full body routine. Or, do some intense activity as you’re watching your favorite program on television.
Again, it’s not a big deal once you decide that you will be fit, healthy and lean for LIFE!